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Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah: A Fourteenth Century Defense against Astrological Divination and Alchemical Transmutation
John W. Livingston
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 91, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1971), pp. 96-103
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/600445
Page Count: 8
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This article is a review of the arguments of the ḥanbalī theologian Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d. 1349 A. D.) against the occult sciences that existed in Islam during his time. The article takes as its point of departure Professor Armand Abel's argument (La place des sciences occultes dans la décadence, in Classicisme et déclin culturel dans l'histoire de l'Islam, edited by R. Brunschwig and G. E. Von Grunebaum, Paris, 1957) that the Sunni religious institution protected, and indeed sanctioned, the rising tide of occultism which, according to Abel, inundated the lands of Islam in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries of the Christian era. Ibn Qayyim, one of the great spokesmen of the Sunni tradition, devoted over two hundred pages in his Miftaḥ Dār al-Saʿādah in harshly denouncing divinatory practices, especially astrology and alchemy, which does not at all tally with the conclusions drawn by Professor Abel. Some of Ibn Qayyim's arguments appear to be original, while some, according to his own admission, difinitely are not. The author of the present article deals with Ibn Qayyim's refutations of astrology and alchemy and has tried to show from what sources the theologian may have learned his arguments.
Journal of the American Oriental Society © 1971 American Oriental Society